Boosting media into the future

As part of my role, it’s important for me to stay on top of the latest technology trends in the media and broadcasting industry. That’s why I spent the 25-26 June at the IBC Technology Booster in London.

This interactive, two-day conference focused on the cloud and its implications and how connected content is changing the role of broadcast and media. With great keynotes from the likes of the BBC, Virgin Media, Channel 4 and of course, Dr. Mike Short, Vice President, Telefónica Europe.

You can see more about what they had to say here.

Here are three key conversations from the event:

The new first screen

Today, tablets and smartphones are becoming the ‘second screen’. But their popularity is growing so fast that it’s now not a question of if, but when tablets and smartphones will overtake the TV to become the first screen.

This is a real game changer for media organisations and broadcasters. And it’s being driven by connectivity:

With 4G – which is coming to O2 on 29 August 2013 – streaming on the go will be much simpler.

I feel the challenge isn’t about creating great content for connected devices – it’s what the media industry does best. Instead it’s about making sure that they’ve got the capacity to get it out there. That’s why the cloud’s vital…

Stepping into the cloud

At the event, there was still some scepticism about the cloud. But despite this, almost everyone has already embraced it, or is making steps to do so.

It’s an interesting dichotomy, but I think it’s great that the cloud’s no longer a foreign concept, because there are lots of benefits.

Think back to before the cloud. When the big TV event of the summer was coming up (like The Ashes), broadcasters and media organisations had to invest heavily to ensure their network infrastructure was ready for the inevitable viewership and user spikes. Now, with pay-as-you-use models made possible by the cloud, scaling up and down is simpler and more cost effective.

The capacity for innovation

Most people have confidence in connectivity. And cloud is now being widely adopted. However, despite huge step-changes in technology, there is still one big challenge across the industry – innovation.

Unlike the cloud, innovation isn’t led by technology, it’s led by people. Specifically, Generation Y – which makes it hard to quantify. Take Facebook and Twitter; both are built on technology, but it was thinking differently that created them, and it was Generation Y who embraced them first.

The answer for the industry is simple: look at how the youth are interacting digitally, learn from their behaviour and be prepared to embrace change. That’s where the innovative edge everyone’s seeking lies. And don’t forget that Generation Y can provide media and broadcasting organisations with a ‘crystal ball’ to unearth future trends.

It’s about changing the traditional way of doing things, embracing new digital technology and thinking bottom-up, not top-down.

Continue the discussion

These are just a few snippets of the great conversations from the event. If you’d like to find out more, or discuss any of the points with me, please feel free to get in touch at james.lasbrey@telefonica.com.

Dr. Mike Short and I will be heading to the main IBC Conference in Amsterdam on 12-17 September. Follow us on @O2BusinessUK for updates.